This Friday July 4, 2014 we celebrate the 238th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence. Although it took several more years to win the Revolutionary War and have our independence recognized by the English government we celebrate the day the document was signed and passed by the Continental Congress.
Our union was originally formed under the Articles of Confederation which formed a weak federal governement and gave most rights to the states. However this lead to many disputes between the statesm that simply could not be solved by the federal governement given it limited powers.
It wasn't until 1787 that the Constitutional Convention met and a new governing document was written, debated and finally passed creating a much stronger federal government that could negotiate disputes between the states. Many of our representatives felt this document gave too much power to the federal governement and could lead to a similar form of government they had fled in Europe. To this end 10 amendments were added to the Consititution which later became known as "The Bill of Rights" protecting the people and the states from a federal government with too much power.
While many today consider the 2nd Amendment (The right to keep and bear arms in a well formed militia) as applying to firearms it applies to any and all weapons of defense including battle axes, swords and knives.
To honor the anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights Excalibur Brothers is having an Independence Day Sale and you can save 15% on all items ordered.from now through Midnight July 4, 2014 Eastern Daylight Time.
Celebrate your right to keep and bear arms and save some $$ too.
The 2014 Bay Area Renaissance Festival is in full swing at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) in Tampa, FL. This is the festival's 22nd year and once again each weekend has a different theme.
The festival started on February 22 and is open 10AM to 6PM every Saturday and Sunday through April 6, 2014 plus Friday April 4, 2014.
Since St. Patrick's Day is Monday March 17 this weekend's theme is naturally Shamrocks & Shenanigans and is billed as Tampa's largest St. Patrick's Day party.
You'll be able watch a variety of Highland Games that were popular during Medieval Times in Ireland as well as enjoy a variety of Irish music and dance.
There will be a Breamar Stone Throw, an open stone throw, a heavy weight toss for distance competition, Caber toss among many other events culminating with an awards ceremony at 4:45PM.
You'll also get the chance to shop at some amazing Irish Vendors and sample a variety of Celtic food while at the festival this weekend.
Tickets are only $19.95 at the gate for Teens & Adults ($16.95 if purchased online in advance) and $11.95 ($8.95 in advance) for children ages 5-12. Children ages 4 and under are free. There is a $10 charge for dog admission (Registration Required)
To learn more about the Bay Area Renaissance Festival and the various themed weekends check out this YouTube video produced by the festival organizers.
According to the website firearms are banned on the festival grounds. Swords, knives, dirks and daggers are allowed as part of your costume but must be completely sheathed and peace-tied. No drawing of weapons is allowed during the festival and you must be 18 to include a weapon with your costume. It also states that axes, claymores, maces, antique firearms, pikes and halberds are NOT allowed on the Festival site.
If you'd like to see more examples of what to expect when attending the faire check out this YouTube sword fighting contest video.
This annual event helps raise funds for The Lions Club of Lakewood, NJ. They supply vision and hearing screenings, eyeglasses and hearing airds for the needy as well as scholarships for graduation high school seniors.
The Lakewood Lions and the SCA first transformed the park into “Ye Village of Pine Park in the Barony of Carillion in the East Kingdom” on September of 1981.
Harken back to medieval times and see what life was like during the Europen Middle Ages. Throughout the day there will be archery competitions, Knights in hand to hand combat, weapon throwing competitions, fencing and yes even several rounds of jousting.
It's a great way to have some fun and give back to the community at the same time. This is a truly affordable event as well. Adults are only $10.00, Children 6-12 only $1.00 and wee ones under 5 years of age are free.
Check out this YouTube video of the jousting match from the 2010 event.
The website doesn't have a FAQS page or discuss their weapons policy so it would be best to contact them before you include and swords or knives as part of your costume. As always it's best to peace tie any medieval weapons you want to wear.
Some folks don't feel that decapitating villains can be deemed sexy. Think again! Hollywood has proven otherwise time and time again when girls seeking revenge have pulled out their swords and knives from the decorated sheaths around their gorgeous waists! Isn’t that enough to drive any man mad? After all, intelligence, power, and good looks demand due respect and attention. A beauty trains hard to hone her skills, the hourglass figure being a side effect of her breathtaking presence. Be it the Egyptian princess fighting for her freedom or the vampire hunters who have half the blood of a killer, they surely have shown some bold moves.
Rachael Weisz from “The Mummy Returns”
With the exotic ornamentation on her skin, it doesn’t matter if she had taken any training at sai fighting. She is pitted against another hot babe, Patricia Velasquez and fights for her nobility in front of her father. Men would have wanted to make that fight last longer, even if she lost in the end.
Catherine Zeta-Zones from the “Zorro” movies
She almost has it all, the killer looks, pretty good acting skills and she presents a convincing rapier handling technique. Appearing in two of the ‘Zorro’ movies, she really does get the bonus points when fighting toe-to-toe with Antonio Banderas. The scene provides an entrance into a cheesy romance and the fire in her swordplay.
Keira Knightley from “Pirates of the Caribbean”
Not just one to wield a pirate sword, this beauty has done the magical slashing in ‘King Arthur’ too. Gorgeous on the eyes, her pirate wear further reveals the hot blood boiling within! She is on a mission and she could go to any bold extent to reach a conclusion – either by seducing Jack or bringing her cutlass against him. Watch the video to see what she has to say about fighting the boys.
Kristanna Loken from “Bloodrayne”
Sure, nobody ever accused Uwe Boll of making a good movie, but the opening scene itself provided a glimpse of how exotic and charming could be a combination of steel and skin. In a gruesome tale of vampires and werewolves, she gets all the eyeballs and does wreck some serious havoc!
Zoe Bell and Monica Staggs from Kill Bill Volume II
An article about babes and blades and we are not taking about this movie? Impossible! Uma Thurman rocked as the immortal Quentin Tarantino vision of the “Bride”. Complete with her Hatori Hanzo sword and a blood thirsty vendetta, she mixes it up in this explosive head-to-head and hand-to-eye fight against the calculating Elle Driver.
Stunt doubles Zoe Bell and Monica Staggs won a stunt award for showing just how dirty a fight between two blond babes can be.
Lovers of swords and knives have been engaged in a battle that seems to reach back as far as our interest in all things that bash, slice, and dice.
Which one is more effective: the terrifying sharpness and formidable strength of the Samurai swords, or the blunt force of the European longsword?
First let’s take a look at both.
The Samurai sword or the Katana is said to be strong enough to slice a body in two, but precise enough to cut a human hair. The curved blade is made to be used with swift movements to leave your opponent filleted before he even knows what hit him.
The process of forging an authentic Katana takes months to complete. A block of steel is pounded flat and then folded and pounded flat again. This process helps remove impurities from the steel creating a stronger more flexible blade. Folding a blade just 10 times creates 1024 layers. An additional 4 folds brings the total layers to over 16,000. This process creates a distinct pattern in the sword.
The blade is then quenched in water to temper the steel. Many Japanese swordsmiths coated the blade in clay using different thicknesses for the back and the cutting edge before quenching the blade. The different thicknesses caused the blade to cool at different rates creating a harder edge and more flexible back. This method is known as the Japanese Claying Method.
From there the blade is meticulously crafted with a curved edge to allow the sword to be pulled from the scabbard and then slash or cut an opponent all in one motion.
Last an expert sword polisher gets his hands on the blade and finishes the last stage. His efforts make the blade scalpel sharp using polishing stones.
The end result is a swift Samurai sword that can cut through flesh and bone like warm butter.
Known as a Knight’s trusty sidekick, there is something hopelessly gallant and romantic about the cold steel of a European Longsword.
Built to be used with force by a heavy hand, this sword is great for cutting and crunching some ribs. Made to be used with two hands in melee, every inch is designed for hand to hand combat.
Both swords were used by the aristocracy, and both have captivated us for centuries.
A well choreographed sword fight scene doesn't just stay on the screen, it explodes across your face drenching you in testosterone-filled awesomeness. Here are 5 of the most memorable sword fight scenes ever committed to film.
1. The Battle of Stirling - Braveheart (1995) Never has a movie scene displayed the brutal reality of a sword fight. Limbs fly, eyes are gouged, and throats are slit. Instead of being treated to a highly polished scene you are left with what resembles a blood spattered football brawl that would leave you screaming "Retreat!" if you were on the receiving end. Even the horses aren't safe from the vengeful blade of William Wallace.
2. King Leonidas and 300 vs the Persians - 300 (2007) King Leonidas is the reigning badass leader that was ever committed to film. This dude took out a vicious wolf in a snow storm with nothing more than a pointed stick, so just imagine the damage he does with his Sword of Sparta. After lobbing his spear at an invading Persian to connect a perfect hit he proceeds to slash, rip, and generally open a can of whoop ass all over the horde. The movie has no choice but to slow things down as the Persians are backed off a cliff due to unbelievable awesomeness.
3. Gladiators vs "Barbarian Horde"- Gladiator (2000) Armed with nothing but spears and simple shields, exiled General Maximus faces a seemingly unwinnable enemy. The Barbarian Horde is equipped with chariots and bows and arrows while our hero is left with his wits and leadership skills. After getting his hands on a proper Roman Blade a few smart moves end with overturned chariots and Maximus commanding his troops from atop a steed. This victory is a turning point that leads to a shakeup of the Roman empire. What could be more boss than that?
4. Yu Shu Lien vs Jen Yu - Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000)
These ladies have to make an appearance as they mix it up and hold nothing back. The skill of Yu Shu is no match for the supreme design of the ancient Green Destiny Ninja Sword. Watch as it slices through swords, spears, and a metal bat during this no holds barred cat fight that can only come at the end of a friendship and the beginning of every male fantasy.
5. Neo vs The Merovingians Minions - The Matrix Reloaded (2003) The Matrix will always be known for its innovations in filming fight scenes and bullet-time. However, this fight scene is a force to be reckoned with. Fighting off programs armed with maces, daggers, and tridents, Neo uses his telekinesis and mad skills to serve these programs on a platter. Greco-Roman statues aren't safe from his wrath as the scenery literally crumbles under his destructive powers. Whether he is dishing it up with a serrated sword, ninja sais, or a club; one thought runs through your head: "Shouldn't have f-ed with him!"